Doctor Who: Could the 13th Time Lord be a woman?

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image captionPeter Capaldi bows out this Christmas after four years in the role, but show bosses have remained tight-lipped about his successor. Could we see a female regeneration? Jodie Whittaker, who found fame in ITV's detective drama Broadchurch, is one of those in contention.
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image captionPhoebe Waller-Bridge is another favourite - and former Broadchurch cast member - to take on the part and become the first female Doctor. Former companion Billie Piper told the BBC it would "feel like a snub" if the role went to another man - but would Phoebe be able to squeeze the Tardis in around time on the Millennium Falcon now she's started filming the new Star Wars Han Solo movie?
image captionKris Marshall had been so hotly tipped to be the next Doctor bookmakers suspended betting on him earlier this year. The rumour mill went into overdrive when he quit BBC drama Death in Paradise days after Peter Capaldi announced his departure. But as betting later resumed on the former My Family star, maybe he's not in the running after all.
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image captionOlivia Colman could be a good choice having worked with incoming show boss Chris Chibnall on Broadchurch. David Tennant - otherwise known as the 10th Doctor and Colman's Broadchurch co-star - told the BBC he thought "she'd be great" in the role, but added: "Whether that's in her sights at the moment, I suspect probably not."
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image captionBen Whishaw - who plays Q in the James Bond films - has the required combination of geekiness and eccentricity to play the Doctor. However, the last time the vacancy arose, he said: "I don’t think you can be Q and Doctor Who. It would be a bit wrong."
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image captionTilda Swinton created headlines last year when she took on the role of the Ancient One in Marvel's Doctor Strange - a character depicted as a Tibetan male monk. Could she take on another role previously played by a man?
image captionHomeland and Supergirl actor David Harewood played Joshua Naismith in the 2009 Doctor Who Christmas special The End of Time. Outgoing Doctor Who boss Steven Moffat has spoken of his desire for a non-white actor, and said the role had been offered to an unnamed black actor in the past.
image captionMaxine Peake, known for TV's The Village and Silk, is a hugely versatile actress who would bring both steel and wit to the role.
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image captionAnother popular choice would be The IT Crowd's Richard Ayoade - although he may be tied up presenting The Crystal Maze comeback on Channel 4.
image captionRory Kinnear is another of the bookmakers' favourites - the Penny Dreadful and The Casual Vacancy actor was strongly linked with the role before Capaldi replaced Matt Smith in 2013.
image captionSacha Dhawan could be another contender. His previous credits include An Adventure in Space and Time, a docudrama created for Doctor Who's 50th anniversary in 2013.
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image captionConviction and Agent Carter star Hayley Atwell revealed on Twitter in 2015 that she would like to be The Doctor.
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image captionAndrew Scott made his name as Moriarty in Sherlock - which was created by Steven Moffat and Doctor Who writer Mark Gatiss - and is now a bankable name around the world.
image captionBefore War and Peace, Happy Valley and Grantchester, James Norton was in a 2013 episode of Doctor Who. "My character met a fairly gruesome end in my Doctor Who episode," he said in 2014. "Maybe they could quietly recast me as someone else." Like the Doctor, perhaps?
image captionPeter Capaldi, who replaced Matt Smith as The Doctor, said Doctor Who "is a fantastic programme to work on", but the time had come for him to move on.

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